icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

India’s hero Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leads fighter jet formation in Air Force Day fly-over (VIDEO)

India’s hero Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leads fighter jet formation in Air Force Day fly-over (VIDEO)
The Indian fighter pilot who became a national hero after being shot down by the Pakistani military has once again taken to the skies – this time to lead a formation of jets taking part in India’s Air Force Day celebrations.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is credited with shooting down a Pakistani F-16 in a dogfight in February, was front and center at the annual aerial parade held outside Delhi. Footage shows Varthaman leading a pack of MiG-21 Bison, an upgraded version of the Soviet-era fighter jet.

The air force officer was also prominently featured in a promotional video marking the occasion. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the clip on Twitter, expressing gratitude to the country’s “air warriors and their families.”

Varthaman became a national hero after he was shot down and captured by Pakistan in a brief clash between the two nuclear rivals that erupted in February. Islamabad released him several weeks later as a “gesture of peace.” His rise to Indian stardom was at least partly due to his distinctive facial hair, described as a version of the “gunslinger.” He later trimmed his moustache, causing mass upheaval on social media.

Also on rt.com Indian hero pilot’s facial hair must be declared ‘national mustache’ – Congress leader

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Podcasts